This is a summary of ethical theories from Chapter 2, after describing the areas of philosophy and how ethics fits in.
Subject MatterArea of Philosophy
Reality Metaphysics
Knowledge Epistemology
Reason Logic
Values (Morality) Ethics
  • Meta-ethics: what we do in Chapter 2
  • Normative ethics: what we do in the rest of the course (apply meta-ethics to problems in the world)
Ethical TheoryAppeals To
Kantianism Intents, wills, volitions, etc.
  • Categorical Imperative 1: act in such a way that the rule followed should become a universal moral law
  • Categorical Imperative 2: treat people as ends, not means
Act Utilitarianism Greatest happiness caused by an act
Rule Utilitarianism Greatest happiness caused by adherence to a rule
Social Contract Theory Rights in return for adherence to a set of rules
Virtue Ethics Extent to which an act is motivated by character traits
Ethical TheoryAppeals To
Egoism Self-interest
Subjective Relativism Personal preference
Cultural Relativism Cultural norms
Divine Command Theory Divine revelation